If you have been searching for a job for a while, after some time, it becomes second nature. Repeatedly, you may submit your most up-to-date, compelling resume, and simply hope for the best. In fact, you are so set in the process that you are ready to move on to something better at last. Perhaps you have been searching for just the right job for weeks, even months, but to no avail. Perhaps it seems as though you have exhausted all resources available to you. Fortunately, this article contains several tips that will help you navigate the nebulous job market with greater ease and confidence, all while using your own connections and the most effective resources to their full potential.
#1 – Network. And network some more!
This tip may seem a bit obvious, but it is worth emphasizing. The truth is that you can never know too many people, especially when it comes to a competitive job market. Join professional groups that interest you, not just those directly related to your chosen field. Use social media and contact any recruiters who may be able to assist you on your quest (Fertig: “10 Emerging Job Search Trends, Tips and Tactics”).
Also be sure to keep any professional social media profiles such as LinkedIn well-organized and engaging. Fertig stresses the importance of doing more than simply stating your credentials; take some space on your profile to convey your strengths and passions in specific detail. The key word, of course, is specific. Let your profile highlight qualities and traits that your objective statistics and qualifications cannot.
#2 – Even when you don’t love you current situation, keep yourself busy.
While it may be easy to surrender to burnout during a particularly grueling job search, you may find it much more rewarding to fill your schedule with productive and enjoyable tasks. These will keep your spirits high and your mind sharp. If you feel especially motivated, try learning a new skill. The more relevant to your job search, the better. For instance, if your ideal job would require heavy amounts of reading, compose yourself a to-read list of books of various genres and writing styles. Start an independent project—and finish it! Be sure to add your completed work to your portfolio if you have one. A completed quality project might just show employers your undying initiative and drive to always keep growing professionally and creatively (Fallon; “Unemployed? Five Ways to Keep Your Job Search Alive”).
Furthermore, according to a recent U.S. News article by Arnie Fertig, it is becoming increasingly common for employers to request writing samples from applicants. Spend any spare time writing a report relevant to your field or polishing an existing one. In the future, that winning writing sample might just win an employer over (Fertig: “10 Emerging Job Search Trends, Tips and Tactics”).
#3 – Always show interest.
Showing interest is another tip that seems obvious on the surface! But, when you show interest in a company and its many facets—mission statement and beyond—you show employers that you are someone who wants to stick around and get work done not just for the paycheck, but, for the satisfaction of getting it done. Of course, you should let your enthusiasm show organically. Do not force it or offer up empty flatteries. Always have specific answers ready, namely to these questions: What attracts me to this company? How do my skills and experience match up with its ultimate objective? How do my own career goals match up? Perhaps this tip dovetails a similar tip nicely: always be prepared to sell yourself with confidence!
#4 – How else can you show interest? Follow up!
So it finally happens! You land an interview for a position that aligns perfectly with your skills and career goals. Of course, your job search has not come to a comfortable halt just yet. While certainly worthy of celebration in its own right, the interview is only the halfway point of the journey. You still have impressions to make, and that begins with your interviewer. After any interview, be sure to send some form of thank you, be it an email or a handwritten letter (Fallon; “Unemployed? Five Ways to Keep Your Job Search Alive”). But do not stop with a simple thank you; be proactive. In your email, ask about the next step, if there is one. If possible, refer to memorable points in the interview. This is not to say that you should barrage any employer with nice-sounding emails just for the sake of doing it; however, showing a genuine enthusiasm for moving forward in the process can definitely help you stand out. Even if you are not the right fit for the particular position for which you applied, the employer may well remember you for future opportunities.
Fallon, Nicole. “Unemployed? 5 Ways to Keep Your Job Search Alive.” Business News Daily. Purch, 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 July 2015.
Fertig, Arnie. “10 Emerging Job Search Trends, Tips and Tactics.” US News RSS. U.S News and World Report, 04 Mar. 2014. Web. 21 July 2015.